According to an article on VOX, The term guys is problematic

What is the official stance on this word for TWP?

  • 5
    I don't think that there is a "official stance" on a thing as specific as this. As long as one is respectful and addresses to people as they explicitly asked to be addressed (if they did) then everything is ok.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:04
  • 4
    Besides, the fact that those guys at vox (pun intended) decided to make an article of this doesn't mean we have to make an issue of it
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:07
  • 5
    @DarkCygnus since gendered language is an issue, and a former moderator had her name dragged through the mud, publicly, and in a news article, I think we should seek an official stance on this. I'd hate to have the same thing happen to anyone else. Oct 11, 2019 at 21:11
  • 7
    ugh... I am starting to dislike this whole gender language thing. I see your point, Richard, but I think we are over-reacting a bit here. I can't help to feel this a bit paranoid; wanting to analyze every possible word and phrase that could make someone feel "bad". Should we also reach a "official stance" on all those words? I know this is a sensible topic, but each time I am more convinced that this is a really dumb thing to be arguing and fighting over... I am getting sick of this word taboo, when there are far more relevant things to worry about and when gender-neutral words exist.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:24
  • 9
    @DarkCygnus I can understand that. But I do believe that many users are already addressing each other with respect and courtesy. I don’t think much change is needed. However, the notoriety of the new CoC is focusing on this issue more than is really necessary.
    – user44108
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:29
  • @Snow precisely the fact that is being over-focused more than necessary is what is starting to bother me. And yes, at least here in TWP we are already respectful I agree on that
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:41
  • 3
    Yep, so just carry on as normal for the main part.
    – user44108
    Oct 11, 2019 at 21:52
  • 3
    @DarkCygnus How is it overreacting when we've already seen someone caled a bigot, and had her name dragged through the mud, on a news site, no less Oct 11, 2019 at 21:55
  • Perhaps that is just my perception... or perhaps just frustration to see that the mod incident indeed had (and still has) its fallout and to see that we are all still tense about it...
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 11, 2019 at 22:23
  • 7
    We'll be diverting any further "can I say this?" to the official CoC FAQ, since we follow the same language/respect requirements as the rest of the network. It seems sensible to all all users to learn from these questions.
    – user44108
    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:24
  • 3
    @DarkCygnus since we do operate in a language that has more normal-sounding possibilities for gender-neutrality than many others, I don't see what's the difficulty in saying "people" or "everybody / everyone" or "folks" or something in that sense Oct 16, 2019 at 8:51
  • @JulianaKarasawaSouza except "guys", unless we have a ruling otherwise. I wish they would just issue a list of acceptable words. There is a synonym for miserly that I would be terrified of using. Oct 16, 2019 at 12:42
  • 7
    @RichardU eh... I think that having a list of "acceptable" and "unacceptable" words is a bit too much. But then that's my general outlook on life, and my personal opinion Oct 16, 2019 at 14:18
  • 1
    Please tell me we haven't yet reached this level of blinkered, SJW-madness ... :-(
    – Time4Tea
    Oct 28, 2019 at 20:11
  • @Time4Tea We've reached it, it's just a question of how far it reaches Oct 28, 2019 at 20:19

3 Answers 3


IMHO this is the rather unpleasant fallout that occurs when one group of rule-obsessed people clashes with another group of rule-obsessed people.

It's just a perfect storm of persnickety-ness.

Using the word "guys" occasionally to refer to a mixed gender group of people isn't a problem, it's common usage for very informal scenarios. "Doubling-down" and using it repeatedly to the same audience in such a context after being told by someone that it isn't appropriate, that's a problem and that's what the CoC addresses.

There's better things for people to do than researching all possible edge-cases of the CoC and raising alarm about it. But if that's your thing, go ahead, knock yourself out, you'll be quite busy.


There’s no separate official stance when it comes to The Workplace. We follow the same stance as the rest of the network.

If you want to know the official guidelines for guys, gals, chaps, or any other gender-leading generic pronouns, then please refer to the CoC FAQ at Official FAQ on gender pronouns and Code of Conduct changes. Someone may have asked there (ask if no one has). The odds are you’ll be guided to use Y’all, folks, or some other friendly gender neutral term instead.

  • 3
    Thanks for the edit, Joe. Was phone editing!
    – user44108
    Oct 12, 2019 at 6:45
  • 3
    This seems like a slippery slope. I could easily see someone get offended by "y'all" as being a negative stereotype associated with rednecks. I've seen people get chastised for using y'all in the real world, because of this. But it's considered OK here because the CMs use it? Not trying to disagree with you @Snow, I guess I'm just trying to illustrate what a difficult problem this is.
    – dwizum
    Oct 15, 2019 at 13:00
  • 2
    If they can use it, anyone can... not a very strong analogy. Oct 15, 2019 at 13:35
  • 7
    @Bebs Neither is y'all. It's slang in the South, but that's not the same as being a redneck.That equivalence itself could be offensive since redneck is a pejorative term. I know you're probably making a joke, but it gets old to have an entire region disparaged because we don't share an accent and have different slang.
    – Chris E
    Oct 15, 2019 at 14:51
  • 3
    @Bebs It's absolute nonesense frankly. For me, ignoring everything until/unless someone complains is a O(1) operation, and my time is valuable.
    – rath
    Oct 15, 2019 at 15:01

No. Not everything Vox says is problematic is actually a problem, or should have any bearing on anyone's life apart from those who choose to read it. We shouldn't have to have an official policy on it, because it's not a problem for TWP.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .